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Roseanna Vitro: Tropical Postcards

To date, Roseanna Vitro has recorded nine terrific albums, stellar tributes to Bill Evans and Ray Charles among them. How many are in your CD collection? Somewhere between none and too few, I’ll bet. If, indeed, you’ve been missing out on one of the most singularly exciting vocalists of the past two decades, now is the ideal time to dive into the Texarkana native’s canon; and there’s no better place to start than with her new Tropical Postcards (Challenge). A multishaded Brazilian celebration, it is filled with intoxicating delights, and rich with contributions from Trio da Paz (guitarist Romero Lubambo, bassist Nilson Matta and drummer Duduka da Fonseca) and such welcome guests as Joe Lovano, Don Braden and pianist/arranger Kenny Werner (who has now lent his exalted talents to five Vitro albums). Typical of Vitro, she augments more obvious selections (Jobim’s “Wave” and “Song of the Jet,” the latter of which outdistances any vocal version I’ve heard since Ella embraced the Jobim songbook back in 1981) with such comparative obscurities as Milton Nascimento’s “Cravo e Canela” and “Certas Cancoes” and Tom Harrell’s “Land of Wonder (Terrestris).” Back-to-back covers of Ivan Lins’ “Kisses” and “I Just Need Your Kisses” shape deliciously sweet bookends, “I’ll Be Seeing You” is cradled in a soft, breezy bossa nova, and her “I Remember You,” hotter than high noon on Ipanema Beach, positively oozes with sexual longing.

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